I wrote a post to my blog yesterday about homophobia, although it was more generally about the tendency people have to dismiss racism, sexism and homophobia as stupidity or ignorance. Here’s the tl;dr version:
[A]s much as people like to label him a “monster”, Hitler was a human being, just like you and me. Sometimes you hear people say of politicians these days that “He’s the sort of guy you could hang out and have a beer with!” I have no doubt that Hitler was a guy that you could hang out and have a beer with--so long as you weren’t a member of one of the groups that the Third Reich tried to exterminate. And what’s more, who could really think that Hitler was an idiot? He nearly took over the whole world, which doesn’t sound to me like the sort of thing that idiots tend to do. No, Hitler wasn’t ignorant; he had an oddly well-informed hatred.
So my question for the thread is, do you think dismissing intolerance and/or other ideas that you disagree with as ignorance is a poor way of dealing with them, and why or why not?